Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago

Our America Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago Through two award winning National Public Radio documentaries and now this powerful book LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman have made it their mission to be loud voices from one of this country s darkest

  • Title: Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago
  • Author: LeAlan Jones Dave Isay Lloyd Newman
  • ISBN: 9780671004644
  • Page: 453
  • Format: Paperback
  • Through two award winning National Public Radio documentaries, and now this powerful book, LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman have made it their mission to be loud voices from one of this country s darkest places, Chicago s Ida B Wells housing project Set against the stunning photographs of a talented young photographer from the projects, Our America evokes the unforgiving woThrough two award winning National Public Radio documentaries, and now this powerful book, LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman have made it their mission to be loud voices from one of this country s darkest places, Chicago s Ida B Wells housing project Set against the stunning photographs of a talented young photographer from the projects, Our America evokes the unforgiving world of these two amazing young men, and their struggle to survive unrelenting tragedy With a gift for clear eyed journalism, they tell their own stories and others, including that of the death of Eric Morse, a five year old who was dropped to his death from the fourteenth floor of an Ida B Wells apartment building by two other little boys Sometimes funny, often painful, but always charged with their dream of Our America, LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman reach out to grab your attention and break your heart.

    One thought on “Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago”

    1. A very powerful book. At times, it can get too heavy-handed and narrowly focused for my own tastes, but I give it four stars for how excellent it is for teaching. One of the greatest challenges of working with ninth graders is teaching empathy, but the direct quotes and narration from the denizens of the Ida B. Wells has somewhat helped my students put themselves into another person's shoes. It is a very powerful book, and it lead me to do a lot of fascinating other research to augment my lesson [...]

    2. Read this in the seventh grade, just reread for an English class. I think it's one of the must-reads. It is brilliant, honest, and heart-breaking. Always gets me on a personal level because I am a Chicagoan that lives on the Southside. Nobody ever likes talking about "that" part of the city, just like everything else that makes us uncomfortable.

    3. Thanks to Anne for recommending this moving book. I highly recommend it, the narrative format is unconventional (the two boys were given tape recorders and these are the transcripts of their interviews and conversations), but makes for easy reading, at least structurally though certainly not emotionally. I have ordered a class set for my juniors to read this year.

    4. A necessary read for understanding human rights, cycles of poverty, and the lives lead by those living in America's ghettos. The book shares the insights, personal thoughts, and interviews of two young boys, LeAlan and Lloyd, living in Chicago's Ida B. Wells housing projects during the mid- to late 1990s. The boys were given recording equipment for a week and told to capture what their lives are really like, living in the projects. Their words are powerful; their story is unforgettable.

    5. I think this book is great so far. What i would like to say to say about this book to someone who hasn't read this is that if they are interested in learning about how different the world is, this is the book for them. this book is about adventure, friendship, vlife, and death. LeAlan and Lloyd's purpose for writing this book is to show people how different other people are. They also wrote it to show people not to judge eachother just by the way they look, live, or where they come from. This bo [...]

    6. This book is a real and raw look into Chicago's South Side. It is basically a series of interviews, all taken in the mid 1990s, by two young teenagers living in the ghetto. It reads fast. At one point, their lifestyle is compared to a war zone, with bullets to dodge, PTSD, a survival mentality, and more. This book reminds me a bit of "Hoop Dreams", a Chicago documentary from around the same time. One of the most powerful things this book does is to humanize the people living in the ghetto. They [...]

    7. This book is an incredibly written piece from the perspective of two young men whom live in a world that is routinely spoken about but rarely revealed. The power of the book transcends what had to be the authors original purpose as nearly 15 years later the themes resonate true not only in Chicago but in cities around the world.As an educator dealing with children in this situation and sharing this book with students it is an incredible link and eye opener for them to see that others have lived [...]

    8. I like this book a lot because it contain an different story than what Im use to. It tells a story of a "Different America" and many people relate to this story. The author gives us the idea to look at THEIR AMERICA different from AMERICAN you might everyone knows. I learned from this book that not everyone has the same realities in this country and other dont have the same opportunity to live in Country that we believe to be the first in the nation.

    9. Fantastic! Such an intimate portrait of life in the ghetto and how people survive the war zone. Amazing and inspiring stories!

    10. For the book Our America By LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman i would rate the book a ⅘. This book is a podcast from two 13 year old best friends that grew up in the wells which is a project in west chicago in 1993. They provide several stories about their childhood and they explain throughout the story that things need to change and the kids that grow up in ghettos deserve all the same chances/ voice as kids that grow up in richer areas. Vivienne from stated “A very powerful book.” I complet [...]

    11. I’ve never been a particularly strong reader. I often find myself lacking interest in the topics I’m reading and quickly losing the motivation to finish it. So naturally, after being assigned the intimidating responsibility of reading a nonfiction book, I chose the shortest one within arm’s reach. After completing Our America, I can finally say that my laziness has paid off.Overall, I would give this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars. Our America delivers a surprisingly thought provoking, comp [...]

    12. This book was about two boys name LeAlan and Lloyd and how their lives were in the projects on the southside of chicago. The projects they lived in were "Ida B. Wells". Ida B. Wells was no joke. You had to be tough or at least acted tough because in these projects if you didnt. You would be picked on or even killed. LeAlan and Lloyd interviewed their families and others about how they felt about living in the projects. But, they also asked personal things about their lives and how could they cha [...]

    13. I had to read this book for an anthropology class, and it was one of the greatest things I've ever did. I sat down and read it in one sitting, and now I am trying to find out what happened to each person mentioned in the book. I fell in love with these two boys, and their strength and optimism inspires me.

    14. My heart breaks for these kids. They grow up seeing drugs, sex and murder to the point that it doesn't really even faze them. They compare themselves to Vietnam Veterans because they don't know if they're going to die every time they walk out their front door. Living in one of the worst neighborhoods in Chicago, two boys recorded their stories and this book was taken from those recordings.

    15. Wow. This book is less a window into a different life and more an invitation to shatter the glass. The heart and courage of the residents of the Ida B Wells projects is a testament to the human spirit. The voices of LeAlan and Lloyd speak clearly, knowledgeably, and from deep roots in the community. Our America is a call to action that is as important today as it was then.

    16. The projects may be gone but the south and west side of Chicago are still in very bad shape. Violence in poverty stricken areas all around Chicago is at it's highest. Murders, especially. Praying for Chicago and every neighborhood that goes through this.

    17. Powerful insight into life in a housing project in Chicago in the 90s. Unfortunately many of the issues explored here still plague us today. I think it is a good way for people who are unfamiliar with that life to see the human aspect of what happens and how it impacts the children living there.

    18. This book is about Lealman Jones and Lloyd Newman and how they have made it their mission to be loud voices from one of this country's darkest places, Chicago's Ida B. Wells housing project. They tell u about there life's and show u around there neighborhood. They also tell u about the thing's they have say with there own eye's in the Ida B. Wells housing project. They tell their own stories and others, including that of the death of Eric Morse, a five-year-old who was dropped to his death from [...]

    19. Genre: Nonfiction/AutobiographyLexile: 750, grade level 8Age Level: Middle SchoolUnique feature: Transcribed interviews Characters: LeAlan, Lloyd, their families, people who live in the Ida B'sSetting: Chicago, Ida B Wells projectsPOV: From LeAlan and LloydOur America will give students a glimpse into the lives of LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman, two boys growing up in the Ida B. Wells housing projects. Our America started out as two radio documentaries, Ghetto Life 101 and Remorse: The 14 Stories [...]

    20. In the book Our America two boys LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman interviewed people in their community of the ghetto part of Chicago ,the Ida B. Wells projects. While interviewing people in the projects you see that living in the projects is like living in a maze you can't get out. Kids mimic everything they see and kids in the projects fight because that's all that they're exposed to. LeAlan said that living in the projects is like fighting in the Vietnam war ' he makes this refrence because when [...]

    21. Read this book as many of my students read it in their 9th grade English class and are talking about it. I teach journalism, so the idea of an early 90s podcast was very interesting to me. Lots of themes to discuss along with a unique format.

    22. This book is about to boys who lived in the ida b. wells and they talked about how living in the projects how has effected them in their lives everyday they describe everything the projects can do to you and what it has been doing to them everyday since living in the projects and what can the projects do to people who live there for a while like drugs get involved,mureders and all types of bad things. One prediction I made about the book was that lealan and lloyd waz gone find a way to get out o [...]

    23. Summary: Our America is a book on a true story by LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman is about growing up on south side of Chicago in the Ida B.Wells projects. In this book they talk about drugs ,crimes, and how it is lack of jobs. In the book it had had 2 main parts of the book Ghetto life 101 and Remorse. Ghetto Life is mainly chapters about growing up in the ghetto like the crime is crazy people get killed everyday and schooling it has fighting and stabbing in school hard to learn. The Remorse is a [...]

    24. Our american by LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman is about two best friends who live in the hood. Their names are Lloyd Newman and LeAlan Jones. They do mostly everything together. What they do mostly in the book is talk to their family's about living in the hood. They try their best to get a good education and try their best to get out of the hood. and survive and try to be as successful as they can in their life.There are a lot of things i like about this book,This book is real about real life stu [...]

    25. This book is amazing to read for you are put into two perspectives of young African American boys by the names of LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman. This is a new journey that not many individuals have seen or gone through in their life's. These two young boys are given tape recorders so that they can record every day life for them in their town in Chicago. At the time they lived in the Chicago Ida. B Wells housing projects which were notorious for being dangerous. The life style around them is most [...]

    26. I re-read this book for the New Millennium Studies class I'm teaching this semester. Jones and Newman, two boys who grew up in the projects of South Chicago, write about their lives and experiences there. The book transcribes two radio shows they did: Ghetto Life 101 and Remorse: the 14 Stories of Eric Morse, about a boy in their community who was dropped out a 14th floor window by two other boys. The book is powerful and direct, with a sense of hope and honesty weaving in among the desperate po [...]

    27. This is a book that is told in several different formats, but mostly through interviews conducted by two young African American boys living in a housing project. It centers on the now defunct Ida B. Wells housing project on Chicago’s South Side and was taking place as a tragedy occurred there. They cover issues such as poverty, gang related violence, alcoholism, violence, etc. It offers a unique perspective of what is heard in the news so much, however it is being told by people who are not li [...]

    28. I think it's pretty distasteful to put a book like this up against a book like this, but if someone recommended There are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America to you, go ahead and read this one first. This is some early-form David Isay of StoryCorps fame standing WAAAAY in the background while LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman interview people from their community, specifically the Ida B. Wells projects on the south side of Chicago ca. 1993-1996. It's all backed up [...]

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